Christmas Animation Week 5

This week I finished my animation. I animated movement in my hat, and the pauses where I felt they were necessary.

My ident needed to be 5-10 seconds long, and have the inanimate objects in the scene come to life with emotion.

The idea behind my animation was the robotic-looking Santa Claus would interact with an undelivered present he finds trying to hide under his hat. This present then flinches away when he reaches for it, then comes to him. The hat in the scene represents what maybe eyebrow movement would for emotion; when Santa is shocked, the hat goes straight, and as he leans in towards the present, it drops forward towards what he wants.

I don’t have a Playblast from this week as I’m in the process of batch rendering before I export it, but Matt helped me put a ‘use background’ in the scene and some lights with the shadows enabled. I took a render of this to see how my batch would turn out.



Game Jam Final Day

Sunday was for finishing the game off. We had a lot of code left to do including the random generator which Luke kindly helped us with. It made the waves spawn in on the bass strings and fly along the level left. Then we programmed the waves to be a trigger to kill the character, Rick, on collision. Over time the waves get faster also, and will only spawn on 2 strings at once, never more.guitargameplay
I had to animate Rick on Sunday to make him bounce as he stood, so he wasn’t static. I selected each limb on his body separately and imported each file into flash on the stage as separate files. I animated each piece frame-by-frame and exported it. Ant then turned this into a sprite sheet and imported it into Unity. This replaced our static character with a moving one.
Jack created a main menu page and I wrote instructions on it, we named the game Bass Booster, and I did a game over screen. I took inspiration from the Donkey Kong game over, as I edited Rick to be injured and bandaged up accompanied by the game over text. Kyle then put a button on the page and it linked back to the menu.
On the menu there were two buttons, one leading to the game, and one to a credits scene we made.

Jack’s music was imported after that. he edited his tracks into a compilation and we put them on loop in the game, so it had variety. He then chose tracks to put on the menu, credits, and game over screens.

Kyle and Ant fixed bugs in the game to stop Rick jumping off screen. Then, finally, we were pretty much done! So, afterwards, we uploaded the game onto the Global Game Jam and sat down to watch Ant live stream our games, one team at a time, on Twitch.

Overall I really enjoyed the weekend and I’m proud of what we accomplished. I wish it could be refined a little bit more, but for two days we made a whole lot and it is a completed game which sounded a bit impossible before now.

Game Jam Day One and Two



Though I’m only 17 I joined in with the #NGenGGJ this weekend. To do a Waves themed game me and my group decided to do one based on sound waves.

Our game is themed as a bass guitar having sound waves travel down the string. I am the artist so I designed “Rick the Pick” our character, and the game background of the bass guitar.

On Friday night I drew a lot of ideas for the features of Rick around an empty plectrum, then decided with my group if they liked the same ones as me and designed the ideal design based on that. I drew it out in Pro-marker pens and then scanned them in.


At college on Saturday I used my Rick design to paint him digitally. I completely covered the entire thing on Photoshop by digitally painting over him to make him look how I envisioned him when I first drew him. I am new to Photoshop this year but I used the graphics tablet to draw some of it using the pen which made it feel far more familiar to me. I am very pleased with how he turned out and the college even tweeted me out- which was cool.

I then designed the game scene, a horizontal front facing bass guitar- cropped to the strings and pickups.


In game there are 4 Strings over the top of this, but they are platforms, so are separate files from Flash that Kyle made. Kyle, Jack and Owen did the code, Jack did music and is working on a main menu, and I did the art and may do animation on my character. I am happy with how it is going so far and everyone’s work looks great.

Christmas Animation Week 3 + 4

Firstly this lesson we had a peer review of our animations by someone else in the room. I paired with Adam (whose animation is a burger and drink arguing, it looks great so far) and he gave me some constructive criticism. I was told my animation was good and had a lot of effort put into it, but at the time I hadn’t animated the hat fully so that needed to be fixed. He also advised me to leave some pauses in my ident for dramatic effect, which I will hopefully do near the end of my production. I think the overall finish of the product includes edits in timing which would be easier to do when the whole scene is animated.

Last week I animated my box. I had issues with Maya last week, so I didn’t save where I was up to. I had 2 big errors. I had to use a lattice on my box to achieve the squash and stretch effect on it properly, and this caused issues. The lattice was so close to the cube that Matt had to help me be able to interact with the lattice points rather than the cube’s vertices. When this eventually worked I tried to move the frames for the cube along the timeline, but no matter what I had selected in the scene, no frames showed up for my box. Matt also couldn’t figure out why I was having the error but found the frames in the graph editor so I could move them on there, it’s just less convenient.

The other error was that a vertex from the top my santa model had pulled through the entire model and made a spike out of the bottom of the mesh. I tried to move this back and it kept saying to turn off ‘Preserve UVs’ which at the time neither me nor Matt could do in that time. Thankfully the next lesson Matt fixed it for me straightaway and now I now how to d that myself in my modeling settings.

Errors aside I did get some of my animation done that week and finished the majority of it In week 4. I Managed to do the 3 assets; present, santa, and hat. I firstly animated the hat flip, then realized it would wobble a lot trying to make it follow the head movements manually- so  then parented the head to the hat and struggled against some automatic movement at the beginning frames for the benefit of having the hat sit on the head and move with Santa as he does smoothly. This took quite a lot of time to figure out but so far I think the animation looks almost exactly as I’d planned.

I still need to do some pauses and other refinements to my animation. I am very pleased with the WIP and I will do cameras, lighting and background next week to complete it before I render it out.

Art Deco in Life and in Bioshock

Art deco in real life is shown very clearly in Vogue. They have art and photography showing a variety of true life art deco. There are flappers, symmetrical buildings and an overall classy artistic look to the surroundings.

Image result for vogue art deco

Betty Boop
Betty Boop is also an example of real life art deco. She was invented in 1930. She was originally based on flapper, Helen Kane, so she is used in a ‘Roaring 20s’ American environment, so she will have been surrounded by contemporary art.

Image result for betty boop art deco

Bugsy Malone
Bugsy maloneis a 1976 musical based on gangsters of the 1920s. The actors are all children imitating adults; in roles as flappers and gangsters similar to Bugs Moran.
The movie is immersed in 20’s stile which means it shows a lot of the same aspects as Bioshock, except not underwater.The entire theme of the movie relies fully on the time period.

All of these themes relate straight back to the game Bioshock. Bioshock is themed around a sunken 20’s city. All of the luminous lights are still shining in the darkened city so the whole place has an ominous vibe. It was a modern idea in a historic setting. The whole city is full of art deco. Big, bold, symmetrical features. Statues based on thrice and the rich lifestyle. Portraits of the wealthy in 20’s culture. The game isn’t just based in a time, its based a class- upper class. City life, rather than the life in the South, was all about the BOOM. Everyone was getting richer by the second, earning thousands in stocks. Unfortunately soon after everyone would end up poor once again in the great depression.


I like this theme as it makes use of art in games more than any other I’ve seen.

3D Tracking in After Effects

I have finished projects from some of Pete’s lessons I haven’t yet blogged about, but they were in my portfolio. The first is a video I edited using the 3D tracker function in After Effects. This meant I could add a 3D object into real life camera footage of a park.

Firstly we wrote our names in the text function, then changed the extrusion depth of the text. Afterwards we added lighting to the 3D text and it looked realistic. Then we imported camera footage that Pete provided us with of a play park. In the video the camera pans around and that was why we couldn’t just overlay the text into the scene, we had to track a point of the ground and land the text there, sealing it to the ground and keeping the angle of the text the same as the angle of the floor.

To do this the renderer on this 8 second clip needed to be Ray-Traced 3D. The next step was to use the 3D tracker function with detailed analysis on. This put dots all over the scene. It rendered through slowly and you could see the computer working- it linked the dots to the colours it could follow and you see the dots moving with the image as the camera pans frame by frame. When that’s done you juust hold shift and click on 3 of the tracker points mid-way through the scene (in this case at 4 seconds) to create a target on the ground. The points should be fairly far apart, but still show the shape of the ground, and you make sure it seems like the target it laying on the correct angle before you carry on. When this is done it places the text object onto the target and it looks like it’s standing on that part of the ground in 3D space.

I was so happy with the outcome of this as it felt like we could apply this to many other VFX assets (such as explosions) to create an interesting scene in a story.

Unfortunately I don’t have photos of the process. Often my computer has issues in VFX that me and Pete fix, but in this particular lesson I had to redo this more than once until it worked correctly, so I was delighted when we finally got there, but I didn’t have time to snap the process.

Utopia Idea

For Tony’s latest brief I have come up with my idea; I decided to do a Utopia rather than a Dystopia because the idea for it came to mind the moment we were asked to do this, and since then I haven’t come up with anything I prefer.


Above is my original plan for the world my vehicle will be based in, but it may be difficult to read my handwriting, so I’ll go over my main points:

My idea (since the timeline for the project is within the next 50-100 years) was that due to population growth, lack of fossil fuels and evolution, humans would end up building into untouched animal habitats and overpopulate the places we have for ourselves, meaning that we would have to co-exist in the same places as other species. I wasn’t sure if the idea made sense until I looked up the facts to back it up, which I noted in the first paragraph.

That means animals would roam our streets, and we would build houses which don’t damage their environments, but do take up space where they used to roam. At first that seems like a Dystopia, but the idea is that by around 2100 we have altered the human parts of the world to be more animal friendly, and we would be environmentally conscious when building in rain-forests, deserts etc. Animals would not be killed for aesthetic gain- either because it is illegal or because it is at least frowned upon and not enjoyed anymore now they’re in society. Zoos would only protect animals but would need to follow their rights, so if there was no need for them to be protected, they would be free as humans would see them anyway.
tigerThis pencil drawing was a concept sketch for the sort of things you would expect to see in this hypothetical future. It’s meant to be a tiger sitting on some cardboard boxes guarding a closed down fur and leather shop when the world is first changing.

I think no Utopia could come about if it wasn’t made to fix world issues- so the reason it becomes a Utopia eventually is because it is the most perfect the world could be, given the circumstances.

In any case, I need to create a service vehicle, designed to perform a task specific to my world. For me it would be a service which either provides for animals, or is an emergency services vehicle for conflict between humans and animals. By all habitats that includes underwater too. I saw once that in Vegas they have underwater airtight hotels, and eventually that could become an option for permanent housing- so I could have variations of the vehicle which could perform underwater, up heights, and on regular ground.

My vehicle would also be environmentally clean, because all of the fossil fuels had already been drilled and wasted to cause this change, so it would need to be powered in another way, just as anything else would. Probably electricity from renewable sources so it would make sense.

Now I am ready to explore the idea of what the world would look like, and why I’d need a vehicle in certain scenarios, then I can finally begin my design ideas.


Analysing a Pixar Short

I am analysing this Pixar short, Mike’s New Car, for it’s use of the 12 Principals of Animation:

At the very beginning we have anticipation, where Mike and Sully are behind the door, then in front of it, and then after mike walks away Sully opens his eyes and sees something we cannot yet. This is suspenseful and makes the viewer wonder what it is he can see.

Mike goes through a few emotional states while Sully keeps adjusting his seat; at first we see squash and stretch as Sully has to squeeze into the vehicle, then slowly relaxes as his seat moves down, only to squash into the side afterwards. Then we see appeal as Mike reacts to the situations and grows frustrated until they both are a bit shocked by the beeping.

When mike is standing at the bonnet and the hood is closed on his fingers there is a pause before he jumps and screams in pain. This is an example of squash and stretch and also of exaggeration because he lifts off the ground. Immediately afterwards he is launched in the air by the same hood, and lands on the machinery inside, causing him to spin, jump, and scream in pain; all of this is secondary action, and his arms flinging around is overlapping action.

The scene set up is an example of staging because you are outside of the car looking in through the window like a pedestrian on the street outside so it feels realistic, and you can see the action from the big front window. When the car malfunctions totally near the end the camera view shows everything at once and then pans out and you see the car from a distance, where all of the action is happening in just one part of the street.